Text which is smaller and in grey is not part of the Bylaws. These sections of text are explanatory comments which are intended to make the Constitution and Bylaws easier to understand, especially for those for whom English is not their first language. They contain definitions of complex words, extra useful information, and explanations of how we interpret certain points of the Constitution and Bylaws, and how they are implemented in practice.
The official logo of IVSA is defined as a snake with the tail curved around a globe with a horseshoe symbol surrounding the snake.
The official IVSA corporate identity is further defined in the IVSA corporate identity manual. Any changes to the corporate identity of IVSA need to be accepted by the General Assembly.
The official IVSA corporate identity can only be used with explicit permission from the Executive Committee of IVSA, abbreviated as 'the ExCo' and hereinafter referred to as 'the ExCo', and by the Organizing Committees of Congresses and Symposia once the hosting Member Organizations have been elected.
Hereinafter means "after now"
Official relationships of IVSA with other organizations shall be based on health, education, science, social and humanitarian affairs.
The decision to establish an official relationship with another organization can be initiated by the Executive Committee and must be approved by the General Assembly, or can be decided by the General Assembly and must be pursued by the Executive Committee.
Any communication or co-operation with an external organization, institution or partner of IVSA, either on behalf of IVSA or concerning an official project of IVSA, must be approved and supervised by the Executive Committee.
Any binding agreement with an external organization, institution or partner of IVSA lasting two (2) years or less may be decided upon by the Executive Committee. Any binding agreement lasting longer than two (2) years must be decided upon by the General Assembly.
Code of Conduct
The Code of Conduct outlines parameters of behaviour and rules of engagement that must be followed by IVSA members at all times when attending an IVSA event and communicating with other IVSA members. The most recent version of the Code of Conduct must be made available on the IVSA website.
The Code of Conduct may be amended after approval of the Executive Committee. Changes have to be reported at the next session of the General Assembly. The General Assembly also has the power to amend the Code of Conduct.
Violation of the Code of Conduct by any IVSA Member or Member Organization, may lead to consequences, decided upon by the Executive Committee.
The General Assembly shall consist of voting delegates and observers present at the meeting of the General Assembly. Voting delegates are student members from Active Member Organizations that are certified by the Executive Committee and Organizing Committee. Observers can be student members of any Member Organization without voting rights, alumni members, Honorary Life Members or other invited guests.
The General Assembly shall determine the policies which govern the activities of IVSA as stated in the Constitution and Bylaws.
The General Assembly of IVSA at a Congress or Symposium should be viewed as a convention under Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised
Certification of Delegates
The Executive Committee certifies the delegates prior to a session of the General Assembly. The Organizing Committee shall provide the Executive Committee their delegate selections before notifying selected delegates.
Quorum shall be met, when at least 40 % of Active Member Organizations in IVSA are present in a meeting of the General Assembly.
The General Assembly shall not vote or make any decision in the absence of quorum; however, the General Assembly may continue to discuss and debate.
Officials of the General Assembly
The General Assembly shall have the following Officials:
- Election Committee
The General Assembly shall elect the Chair at the beginning of the General Assembly session.
The Chair shall be responsible for maintaining order during the General Assembly meetings according to Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised.
The Chair shall have no vote, shall refrain from debate and discussions, and shall make no motions.
The Secretary General of the Executive Committee shall be the Secretary to the General Assembly.
In the absence or at the discretion of the Secretary General, the Executive Committee shall appoint another member of the Executive Committee or a delegate to act as the Secretary.
The Secretary is responsible for the roll call at the start of each General Assembly meeting and for keeping minutes of the General Assembly meeting.
The General Assembly shall elect a Parliamentarian for the duration of the General Assembly session.
The Parliamentarian is responsible for ensuring the General Assembly follows the Constitution and Bylaws.
The Parliamentarian may be called upon by the General Assembly to answer parliamentary inquiries.
The Parliamentarian shall strive to refrain from making motions and participating in debate. The Parliamentarian shall retain the right to vote.
Ballot voting during the General Assembly session is governed by the Election Committee.
The Election Committee shall consist of three (3) people of whom at least one (1) must be a former or current member of the Executive Committee.
The General Assembly shall elect the Election Committee at the beginning of the General Assembly Session.
No member of the Election Committee may nominate or be nominated in any elections. In the event that any member of the Election Committee has a conflict of interest relating to a certain ballot vote, they shall declare it and resign their position. If the Election Committee falls below three (3) members, the Chair shall appoint a new member to the Election Committee, subject to approval by the General Assembly.
The Election Committee shall count all votes for all nominees and present the results of the election. The Chair shall then declare the result.
The Election Committee is responsible for keeping all cast ballot votes until 24 hours after the election result has been announced. Any delegate may request a recount during this time period.
After the 24 hour period all ballots will be destroyed and the Election Committee dissolved.
Sessions of the General Assembly
- The General Assembly convenes at biannual sessions. The Executive Committee shall summon Special Sessions of the General Assembly in the event that a regular session is cancelled. The Member Organizations may call an Extraordinary Session of the General Assembly at any time by sending a request from two thirds (⅔) of Active Member Organizations to the President of IVSA. The request for an Extraordinary Session of the General Assembly must include the topic(s) which are to be discussed during the session.
- The time and venue of Special Sessions of the General Assembly shall be determined by the Executive Committee.. Special Sessions of the General Assembly may be virtual meetings with partial or no physical attendance.
- Extraordinary Sessions of the General Assembly shall be announced no later than 30 days after the request issued to the President. The Extraordinary Session shall convene at least 30 days after the announcement by the Executive Committee. The decisions of the Extraordinary Session shall be limited to matters stated in the request for this session. Extraordinary Sessions of the General Assembly may be virtual meetings with partial or no physical attendance.
General Assembly Procedures
The following points are special rules of order, which are exceptions to the standard procedures in Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised:
- Elections where one entity is to be elected shall use optional preferential voting. Elections where more than one entity is to be elected shall use plurality-at-large voting. If there are the same or fewer candidates as the total number of positions available, they shall be elected without a vote.
- Voting by written ballot can be conducted electronically.
- The standard method of voting on motions in IVSA is using coloured voting cards to display the votes of a Member Organization.
- The minutes of General Assembly sessions need to be approved by the General Assembly during the following Session of the General Assembly. The Executive Committee shall circulate the previous session’s minutes to all delegates at least thirty (30) days before the upcoming Meeting of the General Assembly.
- All decisions of the General Assembly shall be reached by a simple majority vote of those present and voting unless stated otherwise in the Constitution or Bylaws. Decisions made by the General Assembly supersede any past decisions made by the General Assembly.
Allocation of Votes
Each Active Member Organization shall be allocated two (2) votes. Each Active Member Organization shall select one (1) delegate in the Session of the General Assembly who shall state the votes of their country.
IVSA does not allow voting by proxy.
Nominees for a position in the IVSA Officials are not allowed to place votes in the election for this respective position.
Meetings held Vitually
Except as otherwise stated in these Bylaws, any meetings with some or all members attending virtually shall be conducted through the use of virtual meeting services. Virtual meetings shall be designated by the President or Chair of the body that is meeting. The Online Attendance Committee (OAC) shall manage the online attendance of a special session of the General Assembly.
The virtual meeting services should:
- Support anonymous voting
- Support visible displays identifying those participating
- Show those seeking recognition to speak
- Show the texts of pending motions
- Show the results of votes
Unless specified otherwise by the body that is meeting, members attending a meeting electronically have the same rights of attendance, speech and proposal as members who are present in person. Any specification on online attendance should be the first order of business, and must be approved at the start of the first session.
Rules for Virtual Meetings of the General Assembly
- The virtual meeting service has to be available no less than thirty (30) minutes before the start of the meeting.
- The presence of a quorum shall be established by audible roll call at the beginning of the meeting. Thereafter, the continued presence of a quorum shall be determined by the online list of participating members, unless any member demands a quorum count by audible roll call.
- Each member is responsible for their own connection to the internet; no action shall be invalidated on the grounds that the loss of, or poor quality of, a member's individual connection prevented them from participating in the meeting.
- The Chair may cause the disconnection or muting of a member's connection if it is causing undue interference with the meeting. The Chair's decision to do so, which is subject to an undebatable appeal that can be made by any member, shall be announced during the meeting and recorded in the minutes.
- A member who intends to make a motion that may interrupt a speaker may indicate so either electronically or by voice.
- In the case of live meetings with some members attending electronically, the meeting must be chaired by a member who is present in person.
- In the case of live meetings with some members attending electronically, a loss of meeting venue connection is considered a loss of quorum until the internet connection is restored.
Policy papers are general documents explaining IVSA’s opinion and beliefs on a general topic. Such papers are bound by IVSA’s Constitution and Bylaws, and must not contradict IVSA’s objectives as stated in the Constitution.
The procedures for adopting policy papers are as follows:
- Policy papers must be proposed by at least one (1) IVSA member.
- Policy papers should be circulated to all Member Organizations no less than 30 days prior to the opening meeting of the General Assembly session at which the paper is to be considered.
- Policy papers must be adopted by a three-quarters (¾) majority vote during a later meeting of the General Assembly than the meeting in which the policy is first presented to delegates.
- Before adoption, a policy paper may be amended with a simple majority vote. A policy paper stands for five (5) years, unless it is updated, replaced or retracted by a three-quarters (¾) majority. An updated or replaced policy paper also stands for an additional five (5) years.
The Executive Committee has the power to make statements in relation to a certain event. Such statements are bound by IVSA’s Constitution and Bylaws, and must not contradict IVSA’s objectives as stated in the Constitution.
IVSA Officials is the collective term for the Executive Committee, Secretariat, Trust, Chairs of Committees and the Alumni Network, and Regional Representatives . This term will be used when referring to these five (5) categories of elected IVSA positions.
The term of the IVSA officials is September 1st to August 31st of the following year or until their successors are elected.
The term of the President-Elect is from their election until August 31st of the same year after which the President-Elect becomes the President for the term of the Executive Committee.
The term of the Treasurer is September 1st to August 31st of the following year, after which the Treasurer becomes Post-Treasurer for the term of August 31st to the end of the next Symposium.
All IVSA Officials are responsible for writing a report of their work and presenting it for approval by the General Assembly in Congress.
Nomination and Election
IVSA Officials are elected by the General Assembly at Congress. The President-Elect is elected at Symposium.
The election of the IVSA Officials is always by secret written ballot.
Any IVSA member with the right to speak at the current General Assembly may nominate any IVSA Member for an IVSA Official position.
Any member can only accept one nomination for any official position at a time. When accepting further nominations for other positions, any previous nomination will be nullified.
Any Executive Committee nomination can be converted to a nomination for Regional Representative, Trustee or member of the Secretariat, if the nominee is not elected to the Executive Committee. While confirming their nomination for the Executive Committee, the nominee shall let the Election Committee know if they will pursue the nomination for one of these positions, should they not be elected to the Executive Committee.
Only two (2) members from each country may be elected to the Executive Committee or Secretariat for each term.
Only members that will be veterinary student members at the start of the term are eligible for election to the IVSA Officials, with the exception of election to the Trust or as the Chair of the Alumni Network.
A member may be a member of any specific group of IVSA Officials for no more than two (2) terms.
If a member of the Executive Committee, Committee Chairs or Regional Representatives is not elected, elections will be opened again at the next session of the General Assembly.
A list of nominators and nominees must be presented to the General Assembly no later than 48 hours before the meeting during which the election is to take place, after which no changes to the list are allowed.
All nominees are required to give a presentation to the General Assembly no later than 24 hours prior to the meeting during which the election is to take place.
Once the presentation of one nominee has been presented, the General Assembly is allowed to present the nominee with questions regarding the nomination.
Election of IVSA Officials
Voting methods are outlined in the section “General Assembly - General Assembly Procedures”
In the case that more than two (2) nominees from the same country are to be elected to the Executive Committee, another vote shall be held in which all provisionally elected nominees from that country are voted on. In this case, the two (2) nominees with the highest numbers of votes shall be elected, and the other provisionally elected nominee(s) shall no longer be eligible for a position on the Executive Committee.
In the case that more than one (1) nominee from the same country as the current President-Elect is to be elected to the Executive Committee, another vote shall be held in which all provisionally elected nominees from that country, excluding the President-Elect, are voted on. The one (1) nominee with the highest number of votes shall be elected, and the other provisionally elected nominee(s) shall no longer be eligible for a position on the Executive Committee.
If the result of the vote is such that more than two (2) nominees from one country are to be elected to the Secretariat, the provisionally elected nomination from that country receiving the least number of votes shall be invalidated until only two (2) provisionally elected nominees from that country remain.
The positions of the IVSA Officials shall be honorary and members of the IVSA Officials shall be reimbursed for some of the expenses necessarily incurred in the course of work for IVSA, subject to approval by the Executive Committee. No expenses shall be reimbursed before valid receipts documenting the expenses are handed to the Treasurer and the Executive Committee has agreed to the reimbursement.
- Half (50%) of the registration fee of the members of the current Executive Committee for an event where the General Assembly convenes, shall be covered by the Central Fund.
- Executive Committee members shall be reimbursed for their travel expenses at a minimum cost rate from the IVSA central fund for attending the Symposium and
Congress during which all mandatory meetings are held.
- Should they attend live meetings in addition to the four (4) mandatory live meetings, each member of the Executive Committee shall be reimbursed partially for their travel expenses at a minimum cost rate from the IVSA central fund for attending no more than two (2) such additional live meetings.
Secretaries, Committee Chairs, and Regional Representatives
- Half (50%) of the registration fee of the Secretaries, Committee Chairs, and Regional Representatives for the Congress or Symposium of IVSA, shall be covered from the IVSA Central Fund.
- Secretaries, Committee Chairs, and Regional Representatives shall be reimbursed for one quarter (25%) of their travel expenses at a minimum cost rate from the IVSA central fund for attending the Congress or Symposium at the end of their term.
- Half (50%) of the registration fee of the Trustees for the Symposium of IVSA, shall be covered from the IVSA Central Fund.
- Trustees attending either congress or symposium may be reimbursed for their travel expenses up to a collective maximum of €2500 per year.
Termination of membership of the IVSA Officials
Any IVSA Official may at any time resign from their position by giving written notice to the President of IVSA effective immediately, with the following exceptions:
- In the case of the President of IVSA, they must give written notice to the Vice-President of IVSA.
- In the case of the President-Elect of IVSA, if they resign before Congress by giving their notice to the President, their resignation shall be effective immediately and elections for President shall take place during Congress. Should they resign after elections have been closed at Congress, they shall serve the remainder of their term as President-Elect, and the Executive Committee member who is appointed to the position of Vice-President during Congress shall automatically become President at the start of the new term of the Executive Committee.
- The Post-Treasurer may not resign.
In the event of a vacancy arising in the IVSA Officials, the Executive Committee may appoint an interim member to fill the position. This appointment has to be confirmed by the General Assembly at the following session of the General Assembly.
A vacancy in the Executive Committee can only be filled by a current Secretary, or another relevant IVSA Official, until elections can be held at the following Session of the General Assembly.
This procedure does not apply for the presidency. Should the President resign the Vice-President automatically becomes President for the remainder of the term. The original position this member of the Executive Committee held will become vacant and the Executive Committee will appoint a new Vice-President.
The Executive Committee is the administrative body responsible for the work of IVSA between the General Assemblies, within the mandate, guidelines and decisions provided by the General Assembly. The Executive Committee shall:
- preserve all property and official records of IVSA,
- aim to improve and develop the work of IVSA,
- nominate Member Organizations and Honorary Life Members and report nominations at the biannual sessions of the General Assembly,
- prepare an annual Financial Report for approval by the General Assembly,
- direct the public relations of IVSA,
- advise the organizing committees of Congresses and Symposia on the organisation of the General Assembly,
- be members of the General Assembly with the right to speak and make motions in the General Assembly,
- not have the right to vote in the General Assembly, 9. have the right to be nominated in the General Assembly,
- not be counted as delegates in the General Assembly.
The Executive Committee shall consist of eight (8) members, and will contain the following specific named positions:
- Secretary General
- Development Aid Director
- Member Organization Director
- External Relations Officer
- Public Relations Coordinator
- Committee Coordinator
The Executive Committee must select one (1) of its members to serve as the Vice-President.
The President may not hold any other position. Other members of the Executive Committee may hold more than one (1) position.
In addition to the eight (8) members, the Executive Committee shall have to (2) associate positions, those of the President-Elect and the Post-Treasurer. Both of these positions will have the right to attend and speak at all Executive Committee meetings, but will not have the right to vote.
The President will hold the signatory power on all official documents and agreements.
The Treasurer will hold signatory power on all financial documents.
Any other member of the Executive Committee may hold signatory power for specified documents and/or agreements with the unanimous consent of the Executive Committee.
The responsibilities of the President include but are not limited to:
- presiding as the general representative of IVSA in all public affairs,
- supervision of the financial affairs and fundraising of IVSA,
- directing the work of the Executive Committee,
- establishing and maintaining relations with relevant third parties,
The responsibilities of the President-Elect include but are not limited to:
- staying informed about the work of the outgoing Executive Committee until assuming the office of President of the new Executive Committee,
- acquainting themselves with the duties of the President for the upcoming presidential term.
The President-Elect may be holding a position in the IVSA Officials upon election, and in this case will continue to hold this position until August 31st.
The responsibilities of the Vice-President include but are not limited to:
- chairing Executive Committee meetings in the absence of the President,
The responsibilities of the Secretary General include but are not limited to:
- directing the work of the Secretariat, subject to direction by the Executive Committee,
- serving as the Secretary of the General Assembly and Executive Committee meetings,
- certifying delegates before the start of the General Assembly,
- ensuring the taking and circulation of the minutes of the meetings of the General Assembly and the Executive Committee to all relevant parties,
- making all necessary grammatical and renumbering changes to the bylaws while finalising the minutes and reporting these changes back to the General Assembly during the next session of the General Assembly,
- archiving all Executive Committee and General Assembly minutes, reports and other relevant information,
The responsibilities of the Treasurer include but are not limited to:
- handling all financial transactions of IVSA according to the decisions of the Executive Committee,
- calculating and collecting the membership fees of all members of IVSA in a way that causes no unnecessary bank charges,
- maintaining legally appropriate bookkeeping,
- presenting a preliminary Financial Statement to the Executive Committee during Symposium,
- preparing the annual budget of IVSA for the next Executive Committee in cooperation with the President-Elect.
The responsibilities of the Post-Treasurer are limited to:
- preparing and presenting the Financial Report of IVSA to the General Assembly at the session of the General Assembly following the end of the term of the Executive Committee in which the current Post-Treasurer held the position of Treasurer.
Developmet Aid Director
The responsibilities of the Development Aid Director include but are not limited to:
- directing the finances of the Development Fund,
- working to expand the contacts of IVSA in low per capita income countries,
- identifying projects the Development Fund should collaborate with,
- raising awareness about the Development Fund with members of relevant third parties,
- reporting to the General Assembly on projects both completed and ongoing during the term of the Development Aid Director
In addition, the Development Aid Director shall strive to complete all projects started during their term and to raise funds to enable further projects by the Development Fund.
Member Organization Director
The responsibilities of the Member Organization Director include but are not limited to: acting as the main liaison between IVSA represented by the Executive Committee and the members of IVSA represented primarily by the Exchange Officers of each Member Organization,
- acting as the main liaison between the Executive Committee and the Organizing Committee of Congresses and Symposia,
- supervising the delegate selection process for events that contain a General Assembly.
- supporting the organization of group exchanges worldwide by collecting and distributing relevant information about past and upcoming exchanges and promoting best practices for the exchanges,
- arranging and chairing an Exchange Officers meeting during Congresses and Symposia of IVSA.
- maintaining a list of active Member Organizations and their votes to be handed to the Secretary General before the start of a Congress or Symposium,
Meetings of the Executive Committee
The Executive Committee shall have a live meeting at least four (4) times during its term. These four (4) meetings are the starting Handover meeting directly after the election of the new Executive Committee, the meeting directly before or during a Symposium at the middle of the term of the Executive Committee, the meeting before or during a Congress at the end of the term of the Executive Committee and the ending Handover meeting after the next Executive Committee has been elected. The Executive Committee may have more meetings, both live and virtually, as it sees necessary.
Live meetings of the Executive Committee may also have some members attending virtually.
The President is responsible for summoning the meetings of the Executive Committee. If the President is unavailable a meeting of the Executive Committee may be summoned by the Vice-President.
All members of the Executive Committee have equal rights of attendance, speech and proposal at meetings. All decisions of the Executive Committee shall be made with a simple majority of all Executive Committee votes, with the vote of the President deciding in the event of a tie.
The Executive Committee shall have quorum when half (1/2) of the Executive Committee including the President or Vice-President are in attendance. A member of the Executive Committee shall be considered in attendance if they are present in the meeting in person or virtually. The President-Elect and Post-Treasurer positions are not considered part of the Executive Committee for the purposes of quorum.
An agenda for the Executive Committee meeting must be circulated no later than seven (7) days prior to the meeting. The agenda may be amended during the meeting.
Minutes shall be taken from each Executive Committee meeting and shall consist of a summary of the discussion and any presentations presented as well as all decisions made by the Executive Committee. These minutes are part of the public record of IVSA and shall be made available to the members of IVSA by the end of the following month.
The Executive Committee meetings may be attended by observers. If an Executive Committee Meeting is in executive session, observers can only attend if the Executive Committee approves their attendance.
At the following symposium or congress the Executive Committee must report to the GA that an executive session had taken place. Any delegate may then request more information.
Observers do not have the right of speech or proposal unless granted them by the Executive Committee.
- The first Executive Committee meeting is held at the annual Congress after elections of the new Executive Committee have taken place.
- The outgoing Executive Committee will take part in this meeting and brief the incoming Executive Committee about ongoing projects.
- The assigning of Secretaries to members of the new Executive Committee shall take place in this meeting.
- The vice-president will be elected by the incoming Executive Committee.
- The outgoing Executive Committee are relieved of their daily duties at the end of their term and by then are required to brief the members of the new Executive Committee about the proper running of IVSA.
Supervision of the work of the Executive Committee
Any delegate of a General Assembly may present the Executive Committee with questions about the work of the Executive Committee to which the Executive Committee is required to provide an answer no later than by the end of the next General Assembly meeting or by the end of the current one if it is the last in the Congress or Symposium. After the Executive Committee has provided their answer to the questions, the General Assembly may debate the matter.
If the work of the Executive Committee is judged not to be in accordance with the Constitution and Bylaws of IVSA, a vote of no confidence may be proposed. If a vote of no confidence is passed by the required two-thirds (2/3) majority of those present and voting, the current Executive Committee shall dissolve effective immediately and a special session of the General Assembly will be called to elect a new Executive Committee with the interim governance of IVSA delegated to the Secretariat.
The Secretariat is an administrative body of IVSA subsidiary to the Executive Committee and tasked with assisting the members of the Executive Committee with their duties.
The Secretariat consists of eight to twelve (8–12) Secretaries.
The Secretariat is headed by the Secretary General. The Secretaries of the Secretariat are appointed an official of the ExCo to assist, but can be assigned work from other members of the Executive Committee by the Secretary General.
The Secretaries are responsible for assisting the work of their assigned Executive Committee member to the best of their ability. Secretaries are able to pursue other projects for the benefit of IVSA under the supervision of the Executive Committee.
Nomination and Election
All nominations for membership of the Secretariat will be equal and non-specific, but nominees may indicate their subject of interest in their nominations.
The Trust is an advisory and overseeing body of IVSA subsidiary only to the General Assembly.
The Trust consists of up to six (6) Trustees.
All Trustees have equal rights and equal share of the responsibility of the work of the Trust.
The Trustees are responsible for supervising and assisting the work of the Executive Committee and the other IVSA Officials to the best of their ability.
The Trustees are required to stay informed of the work of the IVSA Officials.
Nomination and Election
To be eligible for a Trustee position, a member must have held a position as IVSA Official prior to the election.
If there are more than six (6) nominees for trust, the three (3) nominees with the most votes and who have previously held a position in the Executive Committee are elected. The remaining nominees are decided upon by plurality at large voting from the remaining nominee pool regardless of their previous position.
Committees and Groups
The General Assembly can form Standing Committees and Network to execute, coordinate and support the activities of IVSA. The Executive Committee can form a Task Force to address a specific issue within IVSA at any time. IVSA currently has five (5) Standing Committees and one (1) Network :
- Standing Committee on Animal Welfare
- Standing Committee on Career Attributes
- Standing Committee on One Health
- Standing Committee on Veterinary Education
- Standing Committee on Wellness
- The Alumni Network
The work of these bodies is coordinated by a Chair, elected by the General Assembly, except for the Chair of a Task Force, which will be appointed by the Executive Committee.
The Committees and Groups of IVSA are subordinate to the Executive Committee and ultimately to the General Assembly, and may be authorized to act on IVSA's behalf on certain issues with permission from either body.
The other members of each Committee or Group are appointed by the Chair of the body after the adjournment of the General assembly. The other members of the body do not need to be recorded in any minutes of the General Assembly and shall serve a term alongside the Chair of the body. The other members of the body may be removed or replaced by the Chair of the body. Removals or replacements are reported to the executive committee.
- Standing Committees are permanent and are formed to fulfill a specific function.
- Task Forces are temporary and formed to coordinate a specific function under a specific topic.
The Chair of a Committee, Network, or Task Force shall report their activities to the General Assembly. The Chair of a Committee or Network is responsible to supply accurate minutes from the work of the Committee or Network to the Secretary General.
The Regional Representatives Team is an administrative body of IVSA subsidiary to the Member Organization Director and tasked with assisting the Member Organization Director with communication with IVSA members within the assigned region of IVSA.
There will be one (1) regional representative for each of IVSA’s six (6) regions. These regions are Asia, Europe, MENA (Middle East & North Africa), Pacific, Sub-Saharan Africa and The Americas.
The Team of Regional Representatives is headed by the Member Organization Director. These Regional Representatives will report to the Member Organization Director.
The Regional Representatives are responsible for communication with the IVSA Member Organizations within their assigned IVSA region. Their duty is to ensure involvement of IVSA members in IVSA Global activities and development of Member Organizations, to promote local activities and events organized by IVSA members, along with providing local Exchange Officers and Presidents with guidelines on running IVSA Member Organizations and local chapters.
Regional Representatives may be assigned the task of communication with regional partners of IVSA Global under the supervision of the Executive Committee.
Nomination and Election
Regional Representatives can send in nominations online starting thirty (30) days before Congress until 48 hours before the meeting during which the election is to take place.
Only a member of an IVSA Member Organization belonging to a certain region can become a Regional Representative of that region.
If there is no nomination for a certain region the duties of Regional Representative in that region are taken over by the Secretariat, until nominations can be opened again at the next session of the General Assembly.
Any group of three (3) or more veterinary students from the same country may apply to become a Member Organization of IVSA.
Veterinary students are considered the students in training to become veterinarians in higher education institutions, recognized by the state where they study (e.g. by the Ministry of Education).
Any Member Organization shall have a national committee consisting of representatives from all veterinary faculties it represents. Any Member Organization shall elect a President and an Exchange Officer and have at least one (1) additional member.
The President of the Member Organization will be the main contact person for the Member Organization Director of IVSA Global and the Regional Representative of the corresponding IVSA Region.
Any Member Organization may have more than one local chapter functioning independently within the country. Local chapters if existing shall have a separate governing structure consisting of at least three (3) members:
- a National Committee Representative (eg. a local President)
- an Exchange Officer and
- at least one (1) additional member
One country (as defined in the constitution) shall be represented by no more than one Member Organization.
Member Organizations have three (3) categories: Active Member Organizations, Inactive Member Organizations, and Candidate Member Organizations
- Active Member Organizations have the right to vote, can nominate and be nominated and are allowed to send delegates to attend a Session of the General Assembly.
- Inactive Member Organizations don’t have the right to vote, can not nominate or be nominated and are not allowed to attend a Session of the General Assembly.
- Candidate Member Organizations have the same rights and duties as Active Member
Organizations, with the exception of the right to vote.
The duties of Member Organizations include, but are not limited to:
- paying their annual Membership fee
- annually appointing an Exchange Officer and a President who shall be responsible for maintaining contact between the Executive Committee and the Member Organization
- promoting the work of IVSA and specifically IVSA Congresses and Symposia to its members with the intention of sending delegates to the General Assembly,
- working towards achieving the objectives of IVSA
- cooperating with the requests of the General Assembly and the Executive Committee
- striving to send delegates to each Session of the General Assembly
- sending an annual report of local activities to the Executive Committee
If the first two (2) requirements above have not been met a Member Organization shall be considered inactive.
- The application procedure shall be decided by the Executive Committee and shall be made available online.
- The Executive Committee shall propose applicants to the General Assembly.
- The applying Member Organization has the right to present their organization to the General Assembly before a decision on the application is made.
- The General Assembly shall decide on the approval of Member Organization applications.
- Any Member Organization accepted by the General Assembly held at Congress will only pay an amount equal to half of the annual Membership Fee.
- Once a Member Organization’s application has been approved and they have paid their Membership Fee, they shall be granted the status of Candidate Member
- To attain the status of Active Member Organization, a member of the Candidate Member Organization must have attended at least one complete Session of the General Assembly in person. This can be the same Session of the General Assembly at which Candidate Member Organization status was granted.
The annual membership fee for Member Organizations is calculated with the following formula:
Membership fee = Base Factor * GDP Factor * Size Factor
- The Base Factor is decided annually by the General Assembly.
- The GDP factor is based on the National Gross Domestic Product per capita as stated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Each country's GDP per capita is compared to the GDP of the country with the highest GDP per capita that has an Active Member Organization in IVSA.
- The Size Factor is based on the amount of members and can be found in Annex 1.
Any veterinarian may apply to become an Alumni Member.
Alumni Members shall have the right to apply for Congresses and Symposia, and may take part in events and exchanges other than Congresses and Symposia.
Alumni Members shall work toward advancing the objectives of IVSA and promoting awareness of IVSA within the veterinary field.
The detailed application form and procedure shall be decided by the Executive Committee and shall be made available online. Applications shall be reviewed by the Chair of the Alumni Network.
The Alumni Supportive Membership Fee will be a fixed amount that will be decided annually by the current treasurer and approved by the General Assembly.
Honorary Life Members
People who have made significant contributions either to IVSA, domestically or internationally may be nominated by the Executive Committee for Honorary Life Membership. Honorary Life Membership is granted by the General Assembly. Honorary Life Members shall be exempt from membership fees.
Termination of Membership
The General Assembly reserves the right to terminate or suspend the membership of a Member Organization, Alumni Member or Honorary Life Member with a two thirds (2/3) majority vote if the Member is considered to be acting against the principles of IVSA.
If a Member Organization has been inactive for two (2) full financial years, their membership will terminate automatically. They will need to reapply should they wish to rejoin IVSA.
Until the membership is terminated, all past membership fees are due for the member to be reinstated as an active member.
Once membership has terminated, all membership dues will be considered lost and reapplication will not require payment of past dues.
Any member may resign their membership by written notice to the Executive Committee.
The membership term is from 1st of February until the 31st of January.
Congresses and Symposia
Hosting a Congress or Symposium
- The IVSA Congress shall be held annually between the dates of June 15th and August 15th and shall include in its program a General Assembly. The IVSA Symposium shall be held annually between the dates of December 1st and February 1st and shall include in its program a General Assembly.
- The Congress shall last for no less than ten (10) nights and eleven (11) days. The Symposium shall last for no less than seven (7) nights and eight (8) days.
- The hosts of Congresses and Symposia are elected by the General Assembly.
- The deadline for nominations to host a Congress or Symposium is the last General Assembly meeting at the Session of the General Assembly one and a half (1 1/2) years prior to the proposed Congress or Symposium.
- The nominees must provide the General Assembly with a presentation including a preliminary program, budget, preventative health measures, and information regarding entry requirements for attending the Congress or Symposium in the applicant's country. If no Member Organization is nominated to host a Congress or Symposium by the appointed time, the Executive Committee in office at the time the Congress or Symposium was due to be held will convene a Special Session of the General Assembly.
Responsibilities of the Organizing Committee
- The Organizing Committee is responsible for planning, organizing, and financing the Congress or Symposium.
- The Organizing Committee has the right to make changes to the Preliminary Program proposed during their application to the General Assembly.
- The final dates and total number of available delegate places for the Congress or Symposium must be confirmed at the preceding Session of the General Assembly.
- The application period for Congress must start no later than 120 days prior to the start of the Congress. The application period for Symposium must start no later than 90 days prior to the start of the symposium. The application period for Congress and Symposium must last for no less than 30 days.
- When the number of applications is greater than the number of available places, the Organizing Committee may decline the surplus applications, except for IVSA Officials. There must be a minimum of two (2) places (congress) or one (1) place (symposium) per Member Organization for international delegates, in addition to the IVSA Officials. IVSA Officials, excluding the Executive Committee, may count towards the places for their respective Member Organization.
- The President of the Organizing Committee shall sign together with the President of IVSA a Certificate of Participation to be handed out to every participant of the Congress or Symposium.
- An official report on the Congress or Symposium, including the final itinerary and a final financial report will be presented in the following General Assembly Session and must be approved by the General Assembly. In the event that it is not approved by the General Assembly, the Organizing Committee shall make the necessary changes to the report so that it can be approved. Upon approval, the report shall be archived.
- In case of unforeseen and insurmountable problems, the Organizing Committee may cancel the Congress or Symposium at the latest by 90 days prior to the start of the Congress or Symposium.
Congress and Symposium Finances
- The maximum Congress and Symposium fee shall be decided annually by the General Assembly at the event one (1) year before the Congress or Symposium is scheduled.
- The Congress and Symposium fee should cover at minimum: accommodation and food during the whole Congress or Symposium as well as access to the venues of the General Assembly meetings.
- Each delegate shall pay a Central Fund Tax. This is set at 8% of the Congress or Symposium base fee, and it is added to the base fee. IVSA Officials and delegates with reduced fee spots are exempt from paying the Central Fund Tax.
- The Organizing Committee shall specify in the application form for the Congress or Symposium what other activities the Congress or Symposium fee includes.
- The Organizing Committee can choose to ask for a smaller participation fee and exclusion of accommodation and travel expenses from this fee for participants from their own local IVSA members.
- The finances of a Congress or Symposium may not be handled through the bank account of a private person.
- The Congress or Symposium fee must be payable electronically.
- In case of unforeseen and insurmountable problems, the Organizing Committee may appeal to the General Assembly at the preceding Session of the General Assembly to increase the Congress or Symposium fee.
- For every Congress there will be a total of three (3) places reserved for delegates from any Member Organizations in the GDP ≤ 10 % bracket according to the Membership fee calculations in the Bylaws.
- For every Symposium there will be a total of two (2) places reserved for delegates from any Member Organizations in the GDP ≤ 10 % bracket according to the Membership fee calculations in the Bylaws.
- The fee for these reserved places shall be 50 % of the regular Congress or Symposium fee, and shall not include the Central Fund surcharge.
- The delegates receiving these reserved places shall be selected by application to the Organizing Committee. If there are more applications than reserved places, the Organizing Committee may select the applicants most suited for the lowered fee.
Communication before a Congress or Symposium
- The Organizing Committee is required to provide delegates with contact information of the Organizing Committee.
- The Organizing Committee is required to answer inquiries by the Executive Committee and give all necessary information about the work of the Organizing Committee to the Member Organization Director.
Official parts of a Congress or Symposium
- Executive Committee meeting: The Organizing Committee must provide accommodation for IVSA Officials for one (1) additional day and night prior to the Congress or Symposium. The accommodation for the Executive Committee is covered by the Central Fund.
- General Assembly meetings: The Executive Committee will inform the Organizing Committee at least 90 days prior to the start of the Congress or Symposium of the number and duration of General Assembly meetings, which must be included in the program.
- Development Fund auction: The Development Aid Director is responsible for arranging the Development Fund auction with the help of the Organizing Committee. The Development Aid Director will inform the Organizing Committee at least 90 days prior to the Congress or Symposium about the requirements for the Development Fund auction.
- Exchange Officer meeting: The Member Organization Director is responsible for arranging an Exchange Officer meeting with the help of the Organizing Committee. The Member Organization Director will inform the Organizing Committee at least 90 days prior to the Congress or Symposium about the requirements for the Exchange Officer meeting.
- International Stands: Member Organizations can present opportunities for exchanges and internships from their faculties.
- Cultural evening: Countries can exhibit food, drinks, and customs from their home country.
- Professional lectures and workshops.
Other International Events
International events, other than Exchanges and the annual Congress and Symposium organized under the name of IVSA may be organized by a Member Organization of IVSA, subject to approval by the Executive Committee.
Group Exchanges under the name of IVSA may only be organized between IVSA Member Organizations. The Executive Committee must be notified of Group Exchanges once they are confirmed. The Exchange Officer of IVSA Member Organization is responsible for facilitating the group exchange and is a main contact person for the exchange participants. Exchange Officers are obligated to sign an exchange contract before the beginning of the event. The Member Organization Director of IVSA is responsible for resolving conflicts and problems that occurred during the exchange based on the exchange contract.
The official currency of IVSA is the Euro. For the financials of IVSA, one (1) Euro will be equal to a US dollar value decided annually at Congress by the General Assembly. Any currency discrepancies will be accounted for in the budget.
Regulations for the Annual Budget
The Annual Budget includes all income and expenses related to the management of IVSA and the expenses of the IVSA Officials and any other IVSA members.
The Annual Budget for the upcoming financial year must be adopted by the General Assembly. In case the proposed Annual Budget is not adopted at first, the General Assembly shall make the necessary amendments for the Annual Budget to be adopted.
Travel expenses exceeding the Annual Budget will not be reimbursed.
Regulations for the Financial Report
The Financial Report shall be audited according to the constitution.
Outgoing officials or other members with a conflict of interest are the only members not eligible to serve as Auditors.
The Auditors shall be appointed by the General Assembly at Congress.
The term of the Auditors shall be from the 1st of September until the end of the next Session of the General Assembly.
The Auditors shall report directly to the General Assembly. The Post-Treasurer is responsible for producing electronic copies of the financial records of IVSA as well as the adopted Annual Budget for the Financial year to the Auditors.
The aim of the Central Fund is to enable the functioning of IVSA.
- The Central Fund shall be financed by Membership fees, and in addition may be financed by subsidies, donations, legacies and other contributions.
- The accounts of the Central Fund shall be managed by the Treasurer. The account details shall be made available for membership fees to be paid and donations to be made into the Central Fund.
- The Financial Report shall include the accounts of the Central Fund.
The Executive Committee shall have sole responsibility for the management of the Central Fund.
The Development Fund benefits underserved communities and individuals around the world. It is the responsibility of the Development Aid Director to select and fulfil projects and scholarships using this fund in line with the mission of IVSA.
● The Development Fund may be financed by subsidies, donations, legacies and other contributions.
● The Development Fund shall be separate from the Central Fund of IVSA.
● The accounts of the Development Fund shall be managed by the Treasurer. The account details shall be made available for donations to be made into the Development Fund.
● The Development Aid Director and the Treasurer, shall propose a Budget and Financial Report of the Development Fund to the General Assembly.
The Executive Committee shall have sole responsibility for the management of the Development Fund.
To ensure the continuity of the organization, IVSA shall possess a Reserve Fund consisting of no less than 10 % of the Annual Budget.
● The Reserve Fund shall be financed from the Central Fund.
● The Reserve Fund shall be separate from the Central Fund of IVSA.
● The accounts of the Reserve Fund shall be managed by the Treasurer.
● The Financial Report shall include a statement about the Reserve Fund.
The capital of the Reserve Fund may only be released with the approval of the General Assembly. The Reserve Fund may be invested in low risk investments.
Annex 1: Membership Fee Factors
|nominal per capita GDP||GDP factor|
|> 60 %||6|
|> 50 % ≤ 60 %||5|
|> 40 % ≤ 50 %||4|
|> 30 % ≤ 40 %||3|
|> 20 % ≤ 30 %||2|
|> 10 % ≤ 20 %||1|
|≤ 10 %||0.5|
|Number of members||Size factor|